Emotional intelligence is a concept increasingly mentioned in the corporate world. On the commercial side of things, it seems like numbers should be the primary indicator of performance and success. Yet, humans are humans, and although numbers certainly provide the most objective perspective, that does not change the fact that we are subjective creatures. We care for one another and place great emphasis on both personal and professional relationships. Often, even when we rationally recognize something or some habit as bad for us, we continue to engage with it because of how we feel about it, not because of what we know about it.
In this light, it only makes sense that emotional intelligence is gaining popularity across the executive world. By fostering genuine relationships with passionate peers, and understanding the emotional depth inherent in that relationship, we are able to establish a sincere intimacy that bolsters our career, our skill set, and our networking connections. Of course, you can succeed on your own. You could neglect the impact of emotional intelligence, but to do so would be to dismiss simple facts. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.
Studies suggest that individuals with high EQ’s make $29K more than those with low EQs. Just as well, 90% of top performing employees have high EQs. What’s even more impressive is that just a single-point increase in your EQ has been proven to add $1,300 to your salary. Honestly, the numbers speak for themselves. However, what can be tricky is displaying your emotional intelligence without appearing phony, fake…fraudulent. No one likes the guy with a fake smile plastered to his face, ecstatic about filling out expense reports. It’s just not—real.
What is real? Sincerity. Honesty. In order to realistically display emotional intelligence, high EQ people have to be, well, real. They should not try to make people like them. In life, there are always those who won’t like you, and accepting that, or even embracing it, is of the utmost significance both professionally and personally. If you have to make an unpopular decision, make it. There is no reason to beat around the bush and if you are upfront, people will respect your opinion, even if that means stepping on some toes and potentially getting on someone’s bad side. That said, emotionally intelligent people should also be sure to not exude a judgmental persona.
Even if someone is wrong, that is no reason to judge their personality. Remain professional in your dealings, and do not let personal feelings distort perception. Listen and remain open-minded to ensure coworkers and employees feel comfortable approaching you and speaking their mind. To assign a multifaceted individual a single label is not just simply unfair, it’s ignorant— and hurtful to the person in question and the business at large. All good ideas should be heard, and the only way to ensure that they are voiced, is to cultivate an open dialogue. To be genuine, listen to what’s being said.
In doing so, you will be treating said coworker with respect, and it is the giving of respect that eventually yields respect in return. This does not have to (and by no means should be) confined to coworkers. When interacting with clients, give them the respect they deserve and truly listen to them, and respond accordingly. Work with them, not for them. By being your true self and playing for the same team, you will foster a relationship that breaks down merely professional walls, even if all talk is business-oriented. Establish a true relationship.
Emotional intelligence is fantastic, but it’s only helpful if it’s authentic. Ultimately, be sincere and your emotional intelligence will shine through.